The Science of Stress Part 3: How to Problem Solve Your Stressors

The Science of Stress Part 3: How to Problem Solve Your Stressors

In the last post I explained how to identify the root of the stressor. You will need to know how to do that in order to do the following steps. Click here to read the previous post.

The Stressors We Can Control

When we look at our stressors as something that can be solved, we feel a sense of control and it decreases it's level of impact. Some stressors you will have no control over (loss of a loved one or life-changing circumstances etc.) this is not a post about that type of stress. This is a post about the small stressors that pile up and eat away at our joy. 

How to Problem Solve

Start with the 3 P's-

  • Prioritize: Prioritize your stressors and identify the biggest one or two. Then pick the one you want to start working on.
  • Point of Control: List all of the things in the situation you can control. These are your areas of influence.
  • Plan: Third you are going to Think of the most obvious solutions to the problem, don't think too hard. Then pick one and create a plan of action to get there.

Stick to that plan for three to four weeks. When problems arise within this plan follow the three P's.

You might think this sounds way too easy, but a lot of the time our inaction is a mental block. We need the momentum to push us towards change and get us out of a "fight, flight, or freeze" state. That's what the P's do and they don't overcomplicate the process.

So Let's See an Example 

1st Prioritize: You have decided that you are going to focus on the stressor of "not getting enough planning."

2nd Point of Control: The stressor is "not getting enough planning" and the why is because it is leaving a lot of unstructured time in your room, which is leading to student behaviors. You can not control how much planning you get or student behavior, you can control what everyone does during unstructured time.

3rd Plan: Ask yourself "What is the most obvious solution to having unstructured time?" The most obvious solution (IMO) is to get rid of the unstructured time. 

You might think "But there's no planning."

What's the most obvious answer to this problem?

(Again IMO) it has to be an activity that doesn't require any planning.

So now you have a plan, find a no-prep activity to fill the unstructured time. You can go to teachers-pay-teachers for no prep time filler activities or keyword search #easygroupactivities, #icebreakers #noprepactivities. You could also ask Chat GPT and see what it comes up with.

Find an activity and then make a plan of implementation, keep it easy. Pick one activity until students have it down and can run it themselves. If problems arise during the implementation phase go back through the three P's.

You might think, it can not be this easy... but it actually is. The hard parts are gaining momentum, and focusing on one stressor at a time. 

Give the plan time to work. You don't want to do it for just a week and switch to something else. Stick with your plan for 3-4 weeks and keep applying the 3 P's to the problems that arise.

You can overcome your stressors. Everything is Figureoutable. The key is feeling in control, prioritizing, and sticking to the plan. 

If you would like more help or training check out Teacher High Coaching HERE.

Let me know if this helped and share it with a teacher you think could use it!



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